Jakarta - Post Report Question and Answers

How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Many Apps have English translation so I have been able to get around without a lot of Bahasa. I'm trying to learn. - Oct 2021

Many Indonesians speak some English. They are also very open to foreigners trying to speak Bahasa Indonesia with them, and will not generally cut you off to speak English instead. You can survive without the language but basic language (such as giving directions to taxis) is useful. - Sep 2020

It is very helpful having at least basic Indonesian. English is not very widespoken, but you can manage with Google Translate and gestures. Indonesian is a pretty simple language and there are lots of good language programs to help you learn. - Feb 2018

You don't need it but it can really help sometimes. - Jun 2015

You need enough to direct a taxi driver and to shop. More if you want to barter. - Jan 2015

The more you know, the easier your life is. You definitely need to learn basic phrases, numbers and taxi directions. - Jan 2013

I received seven months of language training before coming, and it definitely helps. You'd want to at least have taxi vocabulary. - Jun 2012

It is best to know taxi Indonesian, although staff in banks, stores, and hotels all have a surprisingly good level of English. - Jan 2012

I was surprised at how much English was around in places like restaurants and the fancier malls. However, it is not spoken everywhere by everyone. So,for taking taxis, traveling, asking directions, and getting to know people better, I'd recommend making an effort to learn at least some Indonesian. - Jul 2011

Maybe "right," "Left" and "Straight" for taxi directions when you first get here. Otherwise, I live my life in English, which is totally pathetic because Bahasa is so easy. - Jul 2011

Not much, actually. - Dec 2010

Not necessary at all. - Nov 2010

Not much is needed to survive. However, the more Bahasa you speak, the richer your experience will be. Indonesians are grateful and delighted by foreigners making even the most basic efforts to speak their languages. Efforts to speak regional languages (Sundanese, Javanese, Padang) are met with some of the biggest smiles I've ever seen. - Jul 2010

Some very basic. - Mar 2008

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